Global DNA hypomethylation in intratubular germ cell neoplasia and seminoma, but not in nonseminomatous male germ cell tumors.
ABSTRACT Alterations in methylation of CpG dinucleotides at the 5 position of deoxycytidine residues (5(m)C) are a hallmark of cancer cells, including testicular germ cell tumors. Virtually all testicular germ cell tumors are believed to be derived from intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (IGCNU), which is thought to arise from primordial germ cells. Prior studies revealed that seminomas contain reduced levels of global DNA methylation as compared with nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. Smiraglia et al have proposed a model whereby seminomas arise from IGCNU cells derived from primordial germ cells that have undergone 5(m)C erasure, and nonseminomas arise from IGCNU cells derived from primordial germ cells that have already undergone de novo methylation after the original erasure of methylation and contain normal 5(m)C levels. Yet the methylation status of IGCNU has not been determined previously. We used immunohistochemical staining against 5(m)C to evaluate global methylation in IGCNU and associated invasive testicular germ cell tumors. Strikingly, staining for 5(m)C was undetectable (or markedly reduced) in the majority of IGCNU and seminomas, yet there was robust staining in nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. The lack of staining for 5(m)C in IGCNU and seminomas was also found in mixed germ cell tumors containing both seminomatous and nonseminomatous components. Lack of 5(m)C staining was not related to a lack of the maintenance methyltransferase (DNA methyltransferase 1) protein. We conclude that testicular germ cell tumors are derived in most cases from IGCNU cells that have undergone developmentally programmed 5(m)C erasure and that the degree of subsequent de novo methylation is most closely related to the differentiation state of the neoplastic cells. That is, IGCNU cells and seminoma cells remain unmethylated, whereas all other histological types appear to arise after de novo methylation.
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ABSTRACT: In contrast to earlier views that there was much compartmentalization of the types of sequences subject to cancer-linked changes in DNA epigenetics, it is now clear that both cancer-associated DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation are found throughout the genome. The hypermethylation includes promoters of tumor suppressor genes whose expression becomes repressed, thereby facilitating cancer formation. How hypomethylation contributes to carcinogenesis has been less clear. Recent insights into tissue-specific intra- and intergenic methylation and into cancer methylomes suggest that some of the DNA hypomethylation associated with cancers is likely to aid in tumor formation and progression by many different pathways, including effects on transcription in cis. Cancer-associated loss of DNA methylation from intergenic enhancers, promoter regions, silencers, and chromatin boundary elements may alter transcription rates. In -addition, cancer-associated intragenic DNA hypomethylation might modulate -alternative promoter usage, -production of intragenic noncoding RNA transcripts, cotranscriptional splicing, and transcription initiation or elongation. Initial studies of hemimethylation of DNA in cancer and many new studies of DNA demethylation in normal tissues suggest that active demethylation with spreading of hypomethylation can explain much of the cancer-associated DNA hypomethylation. The new discoveries that genomic 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is an intermediate in DNA demethylation, a base with its own functionality, and a modified base that, like 5-methylcytosine, exhibits cancer-associated losses, suggest that both decreased hydroxymethylation and decreased methylation of DNA play important roles in carcinogenesis.Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2013; 754:31-56. · 1.09 Impact Factor
Article: DNA methyltransferase 3B expression is associated with poor outcome of stage I testicular seminoma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To examine in testicular seminomas the expression of DNA methyltransferase 3B (DNMT3B), which is known to be associated with early embryonic development and carcinogenesis, and to obtain a predictive marker for relapse of stage I seminomas. Immunohistochemical examination of DNMT3B was performed in 88 cases of seminoma, 35 (39.8%) of which showed widely scattered nuclear immunoreactivity for DNMT3B, and 53 (60.2%) of which were completely negative. The incidence of focal DNMT3B expression was higher in stage III seminomas (5/5, 100%) than in stage I (25/70, 35.7%) or stage II (5/13, 38.5%) seminomas (P = 0.011). In stage I seminomas there were no significant correlations between DNMT3B expression and tumour size, invasion of the rete testis, or lymphatic or vascular involvement. Six of 25 cases (24%) showing DNMT3B expression relapsed, whereas only 3/45 cases (6.7%) lacking such expression did so (P = 0.037). Patients with seminomas showing DNMT3B expression had a significantly lower relapse-free survival rate than patients whose tumours lacked this feature (P = 0.0464). Patients with seminomas showing focal DNMT3B expression are at increased risk of relapse, and should be followed up carefully.Histopathology 03/2012; 60(6B):E12-8. · 3.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epigenetic changes are involved in a wide range of common human diseases. Although DNA methylation defects are known to be associated with male infertility in mice, their impact on human deficiency of sperm production has yet to be determined. We have assessed the global genomic DNA methylation profiles in human infertile male patients with spermatogenic disorders by using the Infinium Human Methylation27 BeadChip. Three populations were studied: conserved spermatogenesis, spermatogenic failure due to germ cell maturation defects, and Sertoli cell-only syndrome samples. A disease-associated DNA methylation profile, characterized by targeting members of the PIWI-associated RNA (piRNA) processing machinery, was obtained. Bisulfite genomic sequencing and pyrosequencing in a large cohort (n = 46) of samples validated the altered DNA methylation patterns observed in piRNA-processing genes. In particular, male infertility was associated with the promoter hypermethylation-associated silencing of PIWIL2 and TDRD1. The downstream effects mediated by the epigenetic inactivation of the PIWI pathway genes were a defective production of piRNAs and a hypomethylation of the LINE-1 repetitive sequence in the affected patients. Overall, our data suggest that DNA methylation, at least that affecting PIWIL2/TDRD1, has a role in the control of gene expression in spermatogenesis and its imbalance contributes to an unsuccessful germ cell development that might explain a group of male infertility disorders.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e47892. · 4.09 Impact Factor